Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mountain Lions, Bigfoots, and Bears, Oh My!

One of the most common arguments and skeptical questions concerning Bigfoot is "where are they"? This question is asked by those who believe he's out there. It's also brought up in sarcasm by skeptics who seem to think that we crypto-people think that Sasquatch are just running around all over the place, so why aren't there recorded sightings filed by officials and experts in the various wildlife industries?

Sometime last year, our local news station in the East Texas area featured a report on some recent cougar sightings in the area. In this story, some local game officials (experts in other words) were interviewed and stated with confidence that they had to be misidentifications because there's no cougars here. They're further west, not in our humid, river-strewn, semi-tropical Pine and Oak forested bottomlands.

A few nights later, the news had a follow up story. This one included numerous pictures that people had taken of cougars and their tracks in the area. I didn't see the news that night, I heard about it from someone. But when I heard it I laughed. And then I had one of those "Well, duh!" moments because it's something that we see so many times in Cryptozoology too. Some people, apparently even some of the "experts", just really don't have much of an idea of what they're talking about. The sad thing is, I'm not talking about any complex theories or advanced level scientific knowledge here. I'm talking about common sense.

Yes, we have cougars here. We've had them for a while actually. You might see tracks if you really go looking. You might even hear one holler if you're at the right place at the right time. Maybe, just maybe, you might get to see one, though you could easily live here your whole life and never get a glimpse. I myself have seen a total of one and one-quarter cougar. Out of two sightings, I never saw a whole animal. They're that elusive. Why were the game officials so wrong then? Their offices aren't out in the middle of the remote woods where many of the witnesses actually live and work. It's pretty simple really.

The same also goes with black bears here. Official word has it that they're coming down from Oklahoma, but haven't quite made it this far yet. No, they're here. They've been here. I've spoken with people who've seen them. Not many people. And it's always people that live out of the city limits in a more rural setting. It's usually people that tend to know their surroundings and know what they saw. Just like with the cougar reports. It makes you wonder how bear or cougar sightings compare statistically to Bigfoot sightings in some areas. I mean, there's places around the Appalachians that are hot-pockets for Bigfoot sightings. Then places like mine where a creature that actually exists is not said to be here because sightings are so minimal or unreliable or not "official".

We tune in to the evening news on a slow news night and see a story about a Bigfoot sighting. We're shown a rugged looking, toothless witnesses who looks like he was drug straight from the swamps. Many laugh and think to themselves "oh Lord...". But seriously. Realistically and seriously...

Reverend Chaos (aka Shawna Lowman), Guest Blogger and Social Malcontent.

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